The mind is a powerful thing, but the good news is you ultimately have control over that power. It’s not always the easiest to overcome some things that are ingrained in our behaviors by habit, but it can be done.
It’s almost like muscle memory in lifting… You do an exercise with the same crappy form over and over again, and the longer you do it, the harder it can be to change. But learning and practicing the right technique you can master the correct form and overcome it – over time.
The same goes with relationship habits. You can create new healthy ones! But you have to realize that it’s going to take awareness, time and effort.
Here are a few tips to practice to help improve your relationship habits!
1) Help each other. When is the last time you asked your partner if they needed help with something? Or when have you done something for them, even if they normally do it, to help them out?
If you usually do the dishes or take out the trash, try doing it for them sometime without them asking or without saying anything. It is nice to have a helping hand, and I’m sure they will appreciate it – more than you even know.
2) Choose to speak positive about your partner. I hear so many people complain about their significant others to their co-workers, friends, family, etc. This shows a lack of disrespect and impacts your relationship negatively (even if you think they will never find out).
If you truly have an issue worth talking about, I highly suggest talking to your partner or a therapist. Not just trying to get someone to agree with how bad you have it or how horrible he/she is. Choose to focus on the positive. And like my mother always told me – if you don’t have anything nice to say, shut your mouth.
3) Create a time slot for each other. Whether this be 5 minutes a day or an hour. Or once a week. Whatever you agree on. Make time for each other to communicate without cell phones, TVs, kids, pets, or any other distraction. I know things come up from time to time… but TRY not to break this under any circumstance.
4) Your relationship shouldn’t just be on auto pilot. When you are truly interested in something (insert your favorite hobby or activity), aren’t you excited about it? Don’t you want to continue to learn more about it? Don’t you give it your attention?
This should be the same about your relationship, whether you have been together for a month or 15 years.
If you act uninterested in your partner, don’t pay attention to them or what they say, and just both do your own thing, maybe you should ask yourself – why am I even in this relationship?
5) Don’t be defensive with your partner. You should be able to be vulnerable. Being defensive gets you no where, in fact, it sets you back. Let down your guard, even if they don’t. I bet over time if you keep genuinely practicing this habit faithfully (without expectation), they will notice it and eventually change as well.
6) Every morning think 5 positive thoughts about them before you walk out the door. Your thoughts have a HUGE impact on your behavior and mindset. You should always be able to think of positive things or ways you are grateful about your significant other. Doing this over and over again over time will help you appreciate your partner more.
Example – 1. My wife is an amazing, hard worker. 2. She has the most beautiful smile. 3. She takes amazing care of our pets. 4. She always knows how to make me laugh. 5. I love the dress she is wearing today.
It literally can be anything, but just make it positive and things you truly believe.
7) Touch them. No, I don’t mean in a sexual way lol. But hey – it can be that too! 😉 I really mean touching their arm, holding their hand, cuddling… There is an undeniable power in the touch of a loved one.
8) Accept your partner. Everyone wants to be accepted and loved for who they are – especially in a relationship. Instead of trying to change them or not understand why they do certain things, either talk about it with them (without judgement) or try to accept it.
If you are with someone that you can’t accept who they really are, then you aren’t with the right person. Trust me – there is someone out there that you will be able to accept for who they are – good, bad and in between.
9) Have a grateful mindset. So many people can think of the negative right away. Whether it be a rainy day, car troubles, or work stress. But if you stop and truly think about it, there are a lot more things in life you can list to be grateful about than the bad.
Learn to start thinking about these positive things… you have shelter to live in, maybe even own a house… that’s more than a lot of this world has! Running water, clothes, family, friends, pets, computers, whatever you are happy that you have – think about those instead when you start drifting into negative thoughts.
Choose to invest in your relationship and practice some of the ideas listed above! You won’t regret it.
Creating new habits can take time, but the positive changes in your life and your relationship are totally worth it.